Kiss Me, I’m Infertile! A St. Patrick’s Day Surprise You Don’t Want to Hear

As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, our thoughts turn to parades, green beer, and of course, infertility.


Apparently that’s what some jewelry makers want us to think about when we see a St. Patrick’s Day pendant on a necklace for young girls. Because the St. Pat’s shamrock necklace we purchased at Claire’s, the “fashion authority” for girls as young as age seven, contains exceedingly high levels of cadmium, a chemical linked to infertility, cancer, birth defects and other health hazards.

We also found high levels of cadmium in jewelry for men and women at American Eagle, Up Against the Wall and Buckle stores. In January, we launched the nation’s first legal action to end the threat of cadmium-tainted jewelry.

Claire’s is now a two-time loser when it comes to threatening kids with cadmium: in January, two charms on a “Best Friends” bracelet from the store were found to be made with 89% and 91% cadmium. In response, the company initially stood behind a loophole in the law, stating that cadmium testing is not required. Two days later, the company pulled the cadmium-tainted items.

What’s going to stop jewelry companies from using poisons in products for our kids?

For years CEH worked to expose threats to children from high levels of lead in jewelry. In 2006, a four year-old boy almost died after accidentally swallowing a pendant that was 99% lead. Our work to stop this kind of lead hazard resulted in the nation’s first statewide ban on lead in jewelry and ultimately resulted in a federal ban.

But now the jewelry industry seems to think they can simply replace one killer chemical with another.  It’s time that we forced major retailers to stop playing games with children’s health.

Congresswomen Jackie Speier has introduced federal legislation (HR 4428) to ban cadmium and other toxic metals from all children’s jewelry nationwide. Please take action and urge your Congressperson to support HR 4428, the Children’s Toxic Metals Act, to ban cadmium and other dangerous metals in kids’ jewelry for.

And have a safe, cadmium-free St. Patrick’s Day!